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Second Acts: Creating the Life You Really Want, Building the Career You Truly Desire Paperback – December 23, 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
After spending decades on Wall Street, Pollan, at age 48, became ill and was forced to re-create his professional life. Now he's working as an author (of more than a dozen financial and self-help books) and life coach, helping others to follow their dreams and stage their lives' "second act." In this volume, Pollan and Levine offer tales of individuals of all ages who realized that something was missing from their professional or personal lives and decided to make major changes. Referring back to those real stories, the authors provide a guide to understanding dreams, translating dreams to life goals and overcoming the obstacles to making those goals into realities. Pollan believes that for some, it's enough to rediscover the joys inherent in a current career; for others, it means more drastic decisions. Peppered with inspirational accounts of "famous second acts" (including J.K. Rowling, Hillary Rodham Clinton, George Foreman and former junk bond king Michael Milken), this book offers useful exercises and helpful advice about changes that range from tweaks to overhauls.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Second Acts teaches how to achieve what others think or say is impossible.” (Christopher Reeve)
“Stephen Pollan and Mark Levine show us that it’s never too late to stage a heckuva comeback!” (Al Roker)
“Your life need not be the same. You can have a second act, Pollan shows you how.” (Joan Lunden)
“Pollan’s encouragement helped me convert my own fear and uncertainty into optimism and enthusiasm for continued personal growth.” (Michael J. Fox)
For anyone looking for motivation, encouragement and help in creating dynamic life changes, this book is a must read. (Keith Harrell, Life Coach/Author of Attitude is Everything)
“Equal parts inspiration and explanation, Second Acts is a road map for the journey to a better life” (David Nivin, author of The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People)
SECOND ACTS captures the changed career paths many of us will have; and shares the strategies needed to do it. (Susan RoAne, author of How to Work a Room)
Making your life significant during the Second Act can really make a difference for you and the lives of others. (Ken Blanchard, coauthor, The One Minute Manager)
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Top customer reviews
I like a book where the author has actually had "fate" push him into the abyss and he had to figure out how to climb out of the darkness. This author lost his a good job thru no fault of his own, had a bout with TB (and was happy because it wasn't lung cancer), had no savings (alright how he had no savings is beyond me - but I am sure Mr. Pollan covers this in another book and will keep you from making the same error)and had to start all over. He tells you how he started all over, where he "wanted to go" and where he eventually wound up.
The author is sincere, honest, humble and writes like a person talks (which is always a good thing because it makes you feel he is sitting right next to you).
If you lost your job and are not sure what you want to do - pick up this book. The book provides ideas and I think more importantly a roadmap to uncover or discover what you want to do now that you're all grown up. BUT EVEN MORE IMPORTANT, is the book gives hope, a sense that there is a future and that things will and can get better - as soon as you decide to.
Another good book is some of Brian Tracy's books especially his two books Maximum Achievement and Change Your Thinking and You Can Change YOur LIfe. These two books are similar to what Mr Pollan discusses around the way you need to think, and how you can control your destiny.
My best of luck to you in your search for happiness and peace and success!
"Second Acts" is filled with wonderful step-by-step instructions on how to create the life you've secretly been dreaming of--whether that means starting a new career in middle age, having a child later in life, leaving the rat race behind and moving to the country, or going back to school after retiring. Everyone's hopes and dreams are different, and Stephen Pollan walks the reader through the process of creating the life of your dreams--not your parents' dreams, not your significant other's dreams, not your best friend's dreams, but the life that will truly make YOU feel happy and fulfilled.
Pollan's advice isn't particularly new or unique. In fact, he freely admits that he has no secrets that others haven't thought of. What I like is that his ideas are logical, sensible, nicely packaged and always positive. The book is filled with exercises to help you discover what your ideal life looks like. Then Pollan walks you through the process of actually making your dreams come true. Everything is built on a foundation of common sense--the author does not espouse any pie-in-the-sky ideas. And be warned: This book demands that you be an active participant. You can't just read it from cover to cover--to create a successful second act, you actually have to do some hard work. As Pollan says, creating a new life isn't easy, but it's well worth it.
It's rare for me to give out 5-star ratings, but I think this book is fabulous. Most of all, I like the author's message of hope--that no matter what the calendar or society says, it's never too late to build and live the life you've always dreamed of.
While Pollan's method for identifying what you want isn't unique to him, he gives it some interesting twists, such as asking not only "What do I want?" but "How will I know when I have it?", which forces you to be very specific! His chapters on "opening closed doors" were, I felt, very uneven: some were genuinely helpful (the money chapter), while others (such as the "education and training" chapter) seemed glib and superficial.
I was favorably impressed that he didn't focus solely on career changes: one of his examples is a woman who loves her career but misses having a family, so the solution is not for her to change careers but to adopt a child. I like his attitude: he focuses on the present and the future, on what you can do NOW to achieve what you want; this is a real upper for those of us who tend to get bogged down in "I've wasted my life" and "It's too late to change"! He also points out that much of one's work experience -- learning how to negotiate, get along with people, or manage a project -- is transferable to another field, so changing careers doesn't mean starting completely from scratch.
On the other hand, as other readers have pointed out, he recounts far too many examples of people who were successful in one career before changing to another. Many people DON'T succeed because they're in the wrong job; but, once they find a career that better suits their interests, abilities, and values, they prosper. It happened to me, and I know I'm not unique, so I think the book would have been more convincing if it included more examples of this type.